BMW i3 REx's Days Numbered. Or Maybe Not

by Member - Evanwritescars on November 27, 2019, 11:22 am

The BMW electric car with a gnerator is headed off to pasture, says a new report. The BMW i3 range extender is a victim of batteries getting bigger and chargers becoming more widespread.

"It has no future," said Jan Freimann, BMW's manager for connected e-mobility, at the LA Auto Show, Green Car Reports reports.

The i3 REx got a tiny 647 cc two-pot that worked as a backup generator to charge up the i3's battery. It had a tiny 1.9-gallon gas tank, enough to boost the range from 81 miles to about 150 miles, though it couldn't maintain top speed when the battery pack was depleted and the generator engine, which was borrowed from a BMW scooter, was providing the juice.

"The idea behind the range extender really helps people to get over range anxiety," Freimann explained, and it helped keep BMW from being reliant on big battery packs. "With a range extender you always had the feeling like okay, I've got a backup solution."

These days, with more DC charging available in more places, as well as larger and more affordable battery packs, BMW thinks it's no longer necessary. The current i3 has a pack with double the amp-hours of the original, and the BEV-only i3 now has a longer range than the old range-extended version. So it doesn't make sense anymore.

The i3 REx hasn't been dropped just yet, but it could be for 2021, when the i3 gets another battery upgrade. BMW North America said that the car will be offered for the foreseeable future, but it seems like there's some internal conflict on the matter.

Green Car Reports_a_

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